News & Updates

Privacy Concerns Force Apple to Ban Ad-Blocking Apps

Privacy Concerns Force Apple to Ban Ad-Blocking Apps
Written by Michael Katz

Ad-blocking apps removed from Apple installed root certificates that may have enabled third-parties to view private user information.

Apple has taken the action to remove some ad-blocking and content-blocking applications from iTunes due to rising privacy concerns. Since the apps installed root certificates that may expose all traffic from a device to the blocker, including encrypted traffic. Apple’s move is comparable to what is known as a man-in-the-middle attack. However this time it is voluntary.

October 9, Apple expressed its deep commitment to protecting customer’s privacy and security, however, will continue to operate with the developers to recover their apps back on the iTunes without endangering customer’s security and privacy. Applications removal was explained to be meant for:

“A few apps from the App Store that install root certificates that enable the monitoring of customer network data that can in turn be used to compromise SSL/TLS security solutions.”

While public statement regarding the list of applications has yet to be issued, Been Choice, or “the most powerful blocker available” as it claims on its site, confirmed through Twitter that it was one of the apps that were removed. In the post, Been Choice stated that,

“We will remove ad blocking for FB, Google, Yahoo, Yahoo Fin., and Pinterest and resubmit tomorrow, to comply.”

Been’s choice method made possible content blocking in Safari and within apps, which includes Facebook and Apple news.

Related to this, Apple has presented the Safari View Controller to allow content blocking from Web sources in iOS, where it does not allow any blocking program to carry out tracking on its own. Standalone apps, however, has been allowed a free pass from blocking. Content blocking in apps would have been affecting Apple’s very own in-app ad service (iAd).

Been Choice appears to be caving in to Apple in its Twitter post, although David Yoon, the co-founder of Been Choice, told InformationWeek through email on Friday that the company is not giving up and merely changing the techniques. Yoon said that Apple has pulled them and then noted in the Itunes store interface that they would call, which during the call it was clear that it regarded the root certificate issue.

Yoon further explained how Been Choice will respond, by stating that root certificates will be removed and resubmitted, although there are others who have VPNs that block ads but possibly without the use of root certificates. “Our goal is to give users a real choice between privacy and sharing. So that is what we need to do, the best we can under the guidelines,” he concluded.

App Store discovered over two dozen infected Chinese apps that installed their root certificates about three weeks prior to this app sweep. These apps were produced by developers who were not aware that a fake version of the Apple developer tool Xcode were used, resulting in malicious intent payload content that delivers malware to the end-user.

Since Apple seems only indirectly to ascribe malicious intent to the developers, it has proven that it is no stranger to dealing with privacy issues that have occurred quite a lot recently.

Feature Image By JESHOOTS via Pixabay

About the author

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a technology and security writer who grew up around technology. From a very early age, he has been in love with computers and follows many of the companies that produce them, hoping to learn more about what makes them tick. When not writing about technology and internet security, he can be found on the pitch with his friends playing a friendly game of football.

27 Comments

  • Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did
    you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make
    my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your theme.
    Cheers

  • Hi my loved one! I wish to say that this post is amazing, nice written and come with approximately all important infos.
    I would like to see more posts like this .

  • You can certainly see your enthusiasm within the article you write.
    The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe.

    Always follow your heart.

  • Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board
    and I in finding It truly useful & it helped me out
    much. I am hoping to present one thing again and help others such as you helped me.

  • Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you
    if that would be ok. I’m definitely enjoying your blog
    and look forward to new updates.

  • I have been browsing online greater than 3 hours
    as of late, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth sufficient for me. In my view, if all site
    owners and bloggers made just right content material as you probably
    did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  • Magnificent goods from you, man. I have bear in mind your stuff
    previous to and you’re just extremely excellent. I actually like what you have bought
    right here, really like what you are stating and the best way wherein you are saying it.

    You’re making it entertaining and you continue to care for to stay it wise.

    I can’t wait to read much more from you. That is actually a terrific site.

  • You’re so awesome! I don’t think I have read through anything like this before.
    So good to find another person with a few genuine thoughts on this subject matter.
    Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up.
    This site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with
    a bit of originality!

  • I have been surfing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found
    any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me.
    In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  • Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be
    on the web the simplest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about
    worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the
    whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal.
    Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  • I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit
    more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?

    Great work!

  • I’m no longer sure where you are getting your info, however good topic.
    I must spend a while studying much more or working out more.
    Thanks for magnificent info I used to be looking for this info for my
    mission.

  • I like the valuable info you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently.
    I’m quite certain I’ll learn a lot of new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  • Greate article. Keep posting such kind of info on your page.
    Im really impressed by it.
    Hi there, You’ve done a fantastic job. I will definitely digg it and in my opinion recommend to my friends.
    I am sure they will be benefited from this web site.

  • Heya are using WordPress for your site platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and
    set up my own. Do you need any coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

  • Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted
    keywords but I’m not seeing very good success.
    If you know of any please share. Appreciate it!

  • I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that
    you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the
    same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

  • With havin so much content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright
    violation? My website has a lot of unique
    content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but
    it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my agreement.
    Do you know any solutions to help stop content
    from being ripped off? I’d definitely appreciate it.

Leave a Comment